AQUA TEEN FOREVER: PLANTASM Creators On The Brand New Movie, Comedy, That Big NBA Cameo, & More (Exclusive)

Aqua Teen Forever: Plantasm is now available on 4K Ultra HD & Blu-ray - and ahead of its release, we were able to catch up with series creators Matt Maiellaro & Dave Willis to talk about the revival.

Interviews Opinion

Aqua Teen Forever: Plantasm is now available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and Digital HD!

Seven years after Aqua Teen Hunger Force was canceled by Adult Swim, everyone's favorite rascals - Master Shake (Dana Snyder), Frylock (Carey Means), Meatwad (Dave Willis), and Carl Brutananadilewski (Dave Willis) - are back in a brand new movie where they'll be forced to save the world after Amazin - an evil mega-corporation led by the tech mogul Neil (Peter Serafinowicz) and his lead scientist Elmer (Paul Walter Hauser) - launches a plan that could destroy the entire world. 

Ahead of today's release, we sat down with the hilarious series creators Dave Willis and Matt Maiellaro to talk about bringing the series back after a lengthy hiatus, the behind-the-scenes intricacies of making a modern-day movie masterpiece, that NBA star making a huge cameo, and a whole lot more. 

Check out the full video interview below and please remember to SUBSCRIBE to our channel!

ROHAN: I'm going to be honest, this movie was my introduction to your show and it's really freaking funny. Had a really good time with it. When the show was canceled after season eleven, did it feel like it was really the end or did you guys always feel like the series could and would return in some form eventually?

DAVE: So, you’ve never seen the show, this must have been pretty interesting for you.

MATT: We were so happy, we were so happy to get that notice. We didn't care if it ever came back. We didn't care. *laughs* Thank God, you are canceling a hit show that's making you a billion dollars today.

DAVE: We came to William Street with giant magnet gloves, and we were going to try to erase all the master tapes, but we were stopped at the gate, because, like Magneto, cars started coming towards us.

MATT: Yeah, and that's dangerous. That's dangerous for a human, you know, a car weighs a lot. You know, Rohan, you're the reason, you are the living example, as to why this movie is going to do just beyond expectations. If you have never seen the show, if you've never heard of me and Dave, and then you watch the movie, and you really like it and you identify with it. This thing is tracking billions of dollars. I'm serious.

DAVE: I'm super intrigued. You've never seen the show, but you watched the movie this morning! You had a cup of coffee, and you were like, let's put this in.

ROHAN: Both of you have been around since the launch of adultswim, which now airs shows like Rick & Morty, do you see your influence in these spiritual successors?

DAVE: We were just ahead of our time, with how we did things and how we wrote things. It's like going back with an electric guitar to Bach, in a time machine, to Bach.

MATT: Not to Bach, but Tupac.

ROHAN: The movie runs around 80 minutes, give or take, which is considerably longer than the episodes - was there anything new you considered when breaking down this story?  

DAVE: It was actually 75 minutes. I'm gonna say that usually that's a bad sign when you look up at a comedy and it’s like 75 minutes. Oh, they had to cut a lot of stuff out *laughs*, but we were contractually told no more than 75 minutes or it's gonna come out of your wallet, you're gonna pay for it. So, we give you every ounce of 75 minutes.

Now, a lot of that is credits, a lot of that is words. Going down really slowly up until 75 minutes and granted, we did start that with the 13-minute mark. So, there's a lot of credits, but the 13 minutes before that…

MATT: …and that's unusual for a film like this, because usually they try to make it funny all the way throughout, and we just thought, well, we've been funny enough here, that makes up for the time the credits are gonna roll. So, it's a balance is what it is.

DAVE: Even though it's a short movie, it is the longest credit bed sequence in Motion Picture history. The longest credits sequence..

ROHAN: Yeah, you gots got me with the fake out near the end...

DAVE: Then, there’s an another full hour and a half of just fun bloopers at the end, where people mess up their line like Meatwad is like, *switches to Meatwad voice*, ‘Ah, I was supposed to say how are you doing?’ *laughs* Let’s run it again, let’s run it again! How are you doing?’

MATT: Yeah, we drew inspiration from Burt Reynolds and Hooper.

DAVE: Yes, all sorts of Hooper bloopers, you're gonna love it. You're gonna love it, but you have to stay there watching it after the the extended credit sequence.

MATT: The theatrical version is going to be longer, so we just sent you the version up to a point, because we don't trust you, Rohan. We don’t know what you're gonna print or not.

ROHAN: The movie takes you all over the place, with jokes aplenty, was there anything during production that was deemed too far or too crazy for the movie?

DAVE: Movies only take place in three settings: on land, in outer space and underwater. We have all three in this movie. That's out there, but there's nowhere else to do movies. If there were, we would do them there, because that would blow people's minds. A fourth place to do a movie? But no, underwater, outer space and on land.

MATT: What he just said is exactly how we pitched this to Warner Brothers, and then once they understood that, they left us alone.

DAVE: We had used all three Shakespearean settings.

ROHAN: I know you guys have been trying to get this made for a while, but how did the project finally come together? 

MATT: Warner Brothers called and said, ‘Will you make another movie?’ And Dave and I said, yes.

DAVE: Yeah, it was like, ‘What are you doing?’ We're like, ‘Towering in terror with a mask over our face. Figuring out how we're going to get food.’ And they're like, ‘How'd you like to make a movie?’

MATT: For money.

DAVE: We're like, cool. I don't know how to make money in this environment. I'm going to have to steal food from my neighbors and we made the whole movie here in COVID.

ROHAN: Both of you are obviously very funny people, how do your recording sessions tend to go? Is there often a lot of room for alt-takes and improv or do you mostly stick to the script?

DAVE: I mean, it's all it's all scripted, but we have a blast in the booth and we just have fun and we play with the lines and then, our editors kind of go to town and try to incorporate ad libs whenever possible, and I should give a shout out to Ned Hastings, who is kind of like our lead editor and a producer in his own right, who was with us at the very beginning and, he kind of is the third voice on the tripod, in a lot of ways, putting all this stuff together. But yeah, I mean, we have a lot of improv, we try to incorporate as much of that as possible. We hire funny people with weird voices, and we let them go to town. If it sucks, we can always delete it..

ROHAN: The big addition to the film is Peter Serafinowicz as Neil - and I don't think it's any surprise who his character is based on, or well, maybe an amalgamation of a few people - but how did that villain come together?

MATT: Well, that character was conceived by the bizarreness, bizarre behaviors of Dorsey and Musk and Bezos, and we kind of put them all together into one thing, and then Peter, he just brought that voice to the table, man, he made it work. Super funny, dude. I'd never heard of him until Dave said, ‘What about Peter?’ So, I looked him up and was like, we should get him..

ROHAN: I'm a huge basketball fan, especially the NBA, so I was really excited when I saw Shawn Kemp show up for an extended cameo. Can you tell me more about how you pulled that off?

DAVE: Well, it's kind of funny. We were, you know, the Space Jam thing, and we were thinking like, ‘What is the truckstop, straight-to-video version of this?’ And who would be our LeBron James and I'm not gonna say it, but we wrote it for one specific retired NBA player and he was an animation fan that I had given a tour of our facilities - apparently there are adultswim fans in the NBA - but he turned us down. And then, I actually talked to Tom Sharply about this, who used to write for NBA Inside Stuff, and he gave us a whole list of guys that he felt like would be funny, and Shawn Kemp, I know he was popping up because he was retailing weed all over Seattle!

He’s so funny, just real funny and real game to do it, and we shot that whole green screen thing with him, and we all got in green screen suits, and he just throws us around, but he was always so polite. Very polite. He would pick everybody up with both hands and just be like, ‘You okay, you okay?’ And, we were like, of course, and yeah, he was like, ‘Cool, man, this is fun. You ever come to Seattle, I'll give you half off at my weed store.’ So, I guess he's got all sorts of strains of Shawn Kemp style product. Yeah, he's very funny, he's very funny in the movie. .

ROHAN: I read somewhere that you had the script completed several years back, how did it evolve heading into production?

DAVE: Where did you read that? Where did you read that it was completed a couple years ago, because that’s a lie.

MATT: Yeah, we’re still writing.

DAVE: Can you send us that link? So, we can alert our l awyers. We have a white shoe legal firm that is taking this on pro bono on our behalf. They're gonna sue everybody. Yeah, watch your back. They might sue you.

ROHAN: I'll look forward to the subpoena - *Matt & Dave laugh* - Thanks guys, this has been great!

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